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QUESTION 1. WHO is the First and Chiefest Being ?
A. God is the First (A) and Chiefest Being. (B) (A) Isa. xliv. 6.-Thus saith the Lord the King of Israel, and his Redeemer the Lord of Hosts, I am the first, and I am the last, and besides me there is no God.
(B) Psal. xcvii. 9.–For thou Lord art high above all the earth; thou art exalted far above all gods.
Q. 2. Ought every one to believe there is a God ?
A. Every one ought to believe there is a God, (o) and it is their great sin and folly who do not. (D)
(c) Heb. xi. 6.—But without faith it is impossible to please him : for he that cometh to God must believe that he is.
(1) Psal. xiv. 1.—The fool bath said in his heart, there is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works.
Q. 3. How may we know there is a God?
A. The light of nature in man, and the works of God, plainly declare there is a God; (E) but his Word and Spirit only, do it fully and effectually for the salvatior of sinners. (F)
(E) Rom. i. 19, 20.-Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them, for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead. Psal. xix. 1, 2.The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament sheweth his handy work. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.
(F) 1 Cor. ii. 10.-But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things; yea, the deep things of God. 2 Tim. iii. 15.--And that from a child thou hast known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation, through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
Q. 4. What is the Word of God?
A. The Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament are the Word of God, (q) and the only certain rule of faith and obedience. (H)
(0) John x. 34, 35.- Is it not written in your Law, I said, Ye aie gods? If he called them gods, unto whom the Word of God came, and the Scripture cannot be broken. 2 Tim. iii. 16,-All Scripture is given by inspiration of God.
(H) Eph. ii. 20.-And are built upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone. Isa. viii. 20.- To the Law and to the Testimony: If they speak not according to this Word, it is because there is no light in them.
Q. 5. May all men make use of the Holy Scriptures ? * A. All men are not only permitted, (1) but commanded and exhorted to read, (K) hear, and understand the Holy Scriptures. (L)
(1) Luke xvi. 29.-They have Moses and the Prophets, let them hear them. (K) John v. 39.-Search the Scriptures.
(L) Acts viii. 30.-Understandest thou what thon readest? Mat. xv. 10.Hear and understand.
Q. 6. What things are chiefly contained in the Holy Scriptures ?
A. The Holy Scriptures chiefly contain what man ought to believe concerning God, (m) and what duty God requireth of man. (N)
(M) 2 Tim. i. 13.-Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me in faith and love. Acts xxiv. 14.-So worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the Law and in the Prophets.
(N) Micah vi. .-He hath shewed thee, Oman, what is good, and what doth the Lord require of thee? Eccles. xii. 13.-Fear God, and keep his commandments ; for this is the whole duty of man.
Q. 7. What is God ?
A. God is a Spirit, (0) Infinite, (P) Eternal, (d) and unchangeable (R) in his being, (s) wisdom, (T) power, (u) holiness, (w) justice, (x) goodness, and truth. (y)
(0) John iv. 24.—God is a Spirit.
(P) Job xi. 7.—Canst thou by searching find out God? Canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection?
(a) Psal. xc. 2.-From everlasting to everlasting thou art God.
(R) James i. 17.--The Father of Lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
(s) Exod. iii. 14.-And God said unto Moses, I am that I am ; and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.
(T) I Tim. i. 17.-Now unto the King, Eternal, Immortal, Invisible, the ouly wise God.
(U) Psal. cxlvii.5.-Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding infinite.
(w) Rev. iv. 8.-Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.
(x) Psal. Ixxxix. 14.-Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne.
(Y) Exod. xxxiv. 6, 7.-The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity, and transgression, and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty.
Q. 8. Are there more Gods than one ? A. There is but One only, the living and true God. (2) (2) Deut. vi. 4.-Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is One Lord. Jer. x. 10. But the Lord is the true God, he is the living God.
Q. 9. How many Persons are there in the Godhead ?
A. There are Three Persons in the Godhead, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit: and these Three are One God, the same in essence, equal in power and glory. (A)
(A) 1 John v. 7.--There are Three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, and these Three are One. Mat. xxviii. 19.-Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.
• Q. 10. What are the Decrees of God ?
A. The Decrees of God are his eternal purpose, according to the counsel of his will, whereby, for his own glory, he hath foreordained whatsoever comes to pass. (B) ,
(B) Eph. 1. 4, 11.-According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world: in whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will. Rom. ix. 22, 23.-What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much long-suffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: and that he might make kniowu the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afoie prepared unto glory?
Q. 11. How doth God execute his Decrees?
A. God executeth his Decrees in the works of creation and providence. (C)
(c) Rev. iv. ll.-Thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created. Dan. iv. 35,-He doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth.
Q. 12. What is the Work of Creation ?
A. The Work of Creation is God's making all things of nothing. by the Word of his power, in the space of six days, and all very good. (D)
(D) Gen. i. 1.-In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. Heb. xi. 3.-Throuch faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the Word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. Gen, i. 31.–And God saw every thing that he had made, and behold it was very good; and the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
Q. 13. How did God create man?
A. God created man, male and female, after his own image, in knowledge, righteousness, and holiness, with dominion over the creatures. (E)
(E) Gen. i. 27, 28.--So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him, male and female created he them; and God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it aud have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. Col. iii. 10.–And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him. Eph.iv. 24.–And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
Q. 14. What are God's Works of Providence ?
A. God's Works of Providence are his most holy, (F) wise, (G) and powerful, preserving (n) and governing all his creatures, and all their actions. (1)
(F) Psal. cxlv. 17.—The Lord is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works.
(ol Isa. xxviii. 29.--This also cometh forth from the Lord of Hosts, which is wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working.
(H) Heb. i. 3.-Upholding all things by the Word of his power.
(1) Psal. ciii. 19. -His kingdom, ruleth over all. Mat. x. 29.- Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.
Q. 15. What special act of Providence did God exercise towards man in the estate wherein he was created ?
A. When God had created man, he entered into a covenant of life with him, upon condition of perfect obedience, forbidding him
to eat of the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil, upon pain of death. (K)
(K) Gal. iii. 12.-And the law is not of faith, but the man that doeth them shail live in them. Gen. ii. 17.- But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it; for in the day that thou eatest thereuf thou shalt surely die.
Q. 16. Did our first parents continue in that estate wherein they were created ?
A. Our first parents, being left to the freedom of their own will, fell from the estate wherein they were created by sinning against God. (L)
(L) Eccles. vii. 29.-God hath made man upright, but they have sought out many inventions. Rom. iii. 23.-For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.
Q. 17. What is sin ?
A. Sin is any want of conformity unto, or transgression of, the law of God. (M)
(M) 1 John iii. 4.-Whosoever committeth sin, transgresseth also the law ; for sin is the transgression of the law.
Q. 18. What was the Sin whereby our first parents fell from the estate wherein they were created ?
A. The Sin whereby our first parents fell from the estate wherein they were created, was their eating the forbidden fruit. (N)
(N) Gen. iii. 6, 12, 13.-And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wire, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her, and he did eat. And the man said, The woman whom thon gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. And the Lord God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.
Q. 19. Did all mankind fall in Adam's first transgression ?
A. The covenant being made with Adam, not only for himself, but for his posterity, all mankind descending from him by ordinary generation, sinned in him, and fell with him in his first transgression. (0)
(o) Gen. ii. 16, 17.-And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it; for in the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. I Cor. xv. 21, 22-By man came death-in Adam all die. Rom. v. 12. As by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.
Q. 20. Into what estate did the fall bring mankind ?
(P) Psal. li. 5.-Behold I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. Rom. v. 17, 18. -By one man's offence death reigned by one. By the offence of one, judgment came upon all men to condemnation.
Q. 21. Wherein consists the sinfulness of that estate whereinto man fell ?
A. The sinfulness of that estate whereinto man fell, consists in the guilt of Adam's first sin, (e) the want of original righteousness, (R) and the corruption of his whole nature, which is commonly
called original sin, (s) together with all actual transgressions which proceed from it. (T)
(O) Rom. v. 19.-By one man's disobedience many were made sinners. (R) Rom üi. 10.-There is none righteous, no, not une. (9) Job xiv 4.- Who ca bring a clean thing out of an unclean ? Not one.
(T) Isa. lxiv, 6.-We are all as an unclean thing. James i, 14.-Every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Mat. xv. 19.-For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.
Q. 22. What is the misery of that estate whereinto man fell?
A. All mankind, by their fall, lost communion with God, (U) are under his wrath (w) and curse, (x) and so made liable to all the miseries of this life, (y) to death itself, (z) and to the pains of hell for ever. (A)
8. 24.-Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden. So he drove out the man. (w) Eph. ii. 3.-And were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
x Gal. iii. 10.-Cursed is every one that contiuuetn not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.
(Y) Job xiv, 1.- Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble. (z) Rom. vi 23.--The wages of sin is death.
(A) Mat. xxv, 46.- These shall go away into everlasting punishment. Psal. ix. 17.-The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.
Q. 23. Did God leave all mankind to perish in the estate of sin and misery?
A. God having out of his mere good pleasure, from all eternity, elected some to everlasting life, (B) did enter into a covenant of grace, to deliver them out of the estate of sin and misery, and to bring them into an estate of salvation by a Redeemer. (c)
(B) 2 Thess. ii. 13.- Because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation.
(c) Isa. xlix. 8.-I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people. Rom. v. 21.—That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life, by Jesus Christ our Lord.
Q. 24. Who is the Redeemer of God's Elect?
A. The only Redeemer of God's Elect is the Lord Jesus Christ, (D) who, being the eternal Son of God, (E) became man, (F) and So was and continueth to be God and Man, in two distinct natures, (a) and one Person, for ever. (1)
(D) Gal. iii. 13.-Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law. 1 Tim. ii. 5.- For there is one God, and one Mediator between God and man, the Man Christ Jesus.
(E) 2 John iii.-The Lord Jesus Christ, the son of the Father in truth.
(F) John i. 11 - And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
(G) 1 Tim. iii. 16.-God was manifest in the flesh. Rom. ix 5.-Whose are the fathers, and of whom, as concerning the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, God, blessed for ever.
(H) Col. ii.9.-In him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. Heb. vii. 24.-But this man, because he continueth ever.
Q. 25. How did Christ, being the Son of God, become Man ?
A. Christ the Son of God became Man, by taking to himself a true body, (I) and a reasonable soul, (K) being conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit, in the womb of the Virgin Mary, and born of her, (L) yet without sin. (M)